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President Trump proposes more than $4 billion in cuts to foreign aid

ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has said that he intends to cut as much as $4.3 billion in foreign aid as soon as this week.

What are the details?

According to a Politico story from last week, before Trump confirmed the news, this would include a $2.3 billion cut to USAID grants and a $2 billion cut to the State Department. While the power to grant and revoke foreign aid ultimately lies with Congress, the Trump administration reportedly plans to use the "rescission" process to freeze the funds until the end of the fiscal year. Congress could unfreeze them by then, or the government would run out of time to use the money.

At the White House on Tuesday, Trump told reporters that the cuts were very much a possibility.

"We have some things on the table very much, and we'll let you know over the next probably sooner than a week."

He also said that the value of the actual cuts could end up being less than $4.3 billion.

Reuters reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had argued against the cuts, while Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney has advocated for them. Republicans in Congress, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have also urged the administration not to revoke this funding.

What else?

A savings of up to $4 billion would do little to curb the current ballooning federal deficit, which the White House predicts will hit $1.09 trillion by the end of this fiscal year next month and remain over $1 trillion until at least 2020. The annual deficit for the last year former President Barack Obama was in office was $585 billion. The last year that the federal government ran a budget surplus was in 2001.

One last thing…
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